New Zealand, India win overnight in T20 World Cup
India has kept their T20 World Cup hopes alive with a dominant 66-run victory over Afghanistan in their Super 12s clash in Abu Dhabi overnight.
They were never in danger of suffering a third consecutive defeat after being inserted on Wednesday and racking up 2-210 - the highest score of the tournament so far - with KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma both hitting half-centuries.
Mohammed Shami then took three wickets to help limit Afghanistan to 7-144.
"Much better wicket," a relieved India captain Virat Kohli declared afterwards.
"In the other two games as well, if we just had two overs of that free-flowing batting capability, that could have sent the message to the opposition that we've put them under pressure."
Despite the big win, India's slim chance to progress into the semi-finals depends on whether they can beat Scotland and Namibia by big margins while other results also go in their favour.
"Net run-rate was on the back of our mind," Kohli said. "We spoke in the team meeting that we have to focus on the chance we have (to qualify for the semi-finals) and stay positive and hunt that chance down."
India lost to arch-rivals Pakistan by 10 wickets and to New Zealand by eight wickets before their top-order batsmen finally came good in the third Group 2 game.
NZ eye T20 semis as Guptill blasts Scots
New Zealand opener Martin Guptill's 56-ball 93 has inspired them to a comfortable 16-run victory over a spirited Scotland in the Twenty20 World Cup and improved their chances of reaching the semi-finals.
Asked to bat first on Wednesday, the Black Caps found themselves in a tricky position at 3-52 after the powerplay, with skipper Kane Williamson and Devon Conway falling cheaply, but Guptill and Glenn Phillips helped them reach 5-172 off their 20 overs.
In response, Scotland could only manage 5-156 to hand their opponents their second victory of the tournament ahead of their last two Super 12 stage matches against Namibia and Afghanistan.
Trent Boult (2-29) and Sodhi (2-42) helped secure the win which leaves New Zealand third in Group II, level on four points with Afghanistan and behind leaders Pakistan.
Umpire Gough out of WT20 over COVID breach
English umpire Michael Gough will not officiate any more games in the Twenty20 World Cup after he broke COVID-19 health protocols during the tournament.
The 41-year-old official was withdrawn from umpiring New Zealand's Super 12 match against India on Sunday in Dubai and was replaced by Marais Erasmus of South Africa.
Gough was put in isolation for six days on Tuesday, with British media reporting that he had breached the bio-secure bubble in his designated hotel.
"The ICC today confirmed that umpire Michael Gough will not be appointed to any further matches during the T20 World Cup following a breach of the bio-security protocols," the game's governing body said in a statement on Wednesday.
"The ICC recognises the extended periods he has spent in bio-secure conditions over the past two years and will continue to support the wellbeing of all match officials operating in this environment."
Players and match officials at the tournament are not allowed to mingle with people outside their bubbles.